Vietnam attaches importance to its ties with Japan and wants to boost strategic partnership between the two countries to a new height, said a Vietnamese senior government official.

Deputy Prime Minister cum Foreign Minister Pham Gia Khiem made the remark during the Feb. 14 meeting with Japanese Deputy Foreign Minister Yutaka Banno, who is on a working visit to Vietnam .

During the meeting, Deputy PM Khiem briefed his guest on the outcomes of the 11 th National Party Congress, which was held on Jan. 12-19, saying Vietnam will continue its foreign policy of independence and self-reliance, while actively pursuing international integration.

Vietnam is willing to befriend and become trustworthy partners of the international community, he stressed.

He also spoke highly of recent new progress in bilateral ties, especially achievements recorded during the official visit to Vietnam by Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan in October last year.

Deputy PM Khiem thanked and praised the Japanese government for their commitment to provide a record 1.76 billion USD in Official Development Assistance (ODA) for Vietnam in the fiscal year of 2010.

For his part, the Japanese Deputy Foreign Minister said Japan wishes to further bolster strategic relations with Vietnam on the basis of mutual trust.

Both sides pledged to continue boosting the exchange of high-ranking visits and work together to raise the role of the Vietnam-Japan Cooperation Committee in the implementation of agreements reached between the two countries’ leaders. They also reached consensus to strengthen cooperation between the two foreign ministries.

On the same day, the Japanese diplomat met with Minister and Chairman of the Government Office Nguyen Xuan Phuc and Deputy Head of the Communist Party of Vietnam Central Committee’s Commission for External Relations Nguyen Manh Hung and held talks with Deputy Foreign Minister Ho Xuan Son./.